WASHINGTON - White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday pushed back after a male reporter questioned President Joe Biden's support for abortion despite his Catholic faith.
During a press briefing Thursday afternoon, reporter Owen Jensen with EWTN Global Catholic Network asked Psaki how Biden can support abortion when "his own Catholic faith teaches that abortion is morally wrong."
"He believes that it's a woman's right. It's a woman's body and it's her choice," Psaki said before pointing to another reporter to ask a question.
The first reporter then interjected and asked Psaki who the president believes should "look out for the unborn child."
"He believes that it's up for a woman to make those decisions, and up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor," Psaki responded. "I know you've never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant, but for women out there who have faced those choices, this is an incredibly difficult thing. The president believes that right should be respected."
More: Pelosi says House will vote on abortion access bill in response to Supreme Court decision on Texas law
The Supreme Court late Wednesday denied an effort by abortion rights groups to halt a Texas law that bans people from having procedures after six weeks of pregnancy, which is the most restrictive law in the nation.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law in May, but didn't take effect until Wednesday. The law bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur at six weeks and doesn't include exceptions for rape or incest but allows people to have the procedure for "medical emergencies."
The Texas law also has a unique enforcement mechanism. The law encourages private citizens to sue anyone who helps a person receive an abortion after a heartbeat is detected. The persson suing could receive up to $10,000 from the abortion provider or others in damages if they win their case.
More: Supreme Court declines to block Texas abortion law that bans procedure at six weeks
Biden in a statement Thursday criticized the Supreme Court's decision as an "unprecedented assault on a woman's constitutional rights."
In his statement, Biden directed the Gender Policy Council, as well other agencies such as the White House Counsel, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to "see what steps the Federal Government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions as protected by Roe, and what legal tools we have to insulate women and providers from the impact of Texas' bizarre scheme of outsourced enforcement to private parties."
Contributing: Savannah Behrmann and John Fritze
Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Psaki pushes back on reporter questioning Biden abortion support